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Norman McLaren drawing on film - 1944.jpg
Experimental animator Norman McLaren drawing directly on film in 1944.
Names animator
Type Art
Activity sectors cinema, television, internet, media, gaming
Competencies skills
Fields of employment Animation

An animator is an artist who creates multiple images called frames and key frames that form an illusion of movement called animation when rapidly displayed. Animators can work in a variety of fields including film, television, video games, and the internet. Usually, an animation piece requires the collaboration of several animators. The methods of creating the images or frames for an animation piece depends on the animators' artistic styles and their field.

Other artists who contribute to animated cartoons, but who are not animators, include layout artists (who design the backgrounds, lighting, and camera angles), storyboard artists (who draw panels of the action from the script), and background artists (who paint the "scenery"). Moreover, voice actors, musicians and other talent may be added as necessary to give the animation additional depth.


Specialized fields

Among the specialized categorizations of animators are character animators (artists who specialize in character movement, dialogue, acting, etc.) and special effects animators (who animate anything that is not a character; most commonly vehicles, machinery, and natural phenomena such as rain, snow, and water).

Inbetweeners and cleanup artists

In large-scale productions by major studios, each animator usually has one or more assistants, "inbetweeners" and "clean-up artists", who make drawings between the "key poses" drawn by the animator, and also re-draw any sketches that are too roughly made to be used as such. Usually, an artist is hired for the first time in one of these categories, and can later advance to full animator status.


In the past, animating was a long and arduous process; each frame of a given scene was hand-drawn, then transposed onto celluloid, where they would be traced and painted. These finished "cels" were then placed together and filmed, one frame at a time.[1]

Animation methods have become far more varied in recent years - today's cartoons could be created using any number of interesting methods, mostly using computers to make the animation process cheaper and faster. These more efficient animation procedures have made the animator's job less tedious and more creative.

See also


  1. ^ "How A Cartoon is Made"

External links


Simple English

An animator is an artist who makes drawings for movies. The animator makes many drawings which are called "frames". These are played very quickly, one after another, to create animation. It makes it look as if something is moving.

Animators can work in many areas including movies, television, video games, and the internet. There are many ways of making animations. Animators usually work with other people to form a team. These may be other animators, but can also include layout artists (who design the backgrounds, lighting, and camera angles), storyboard artists (who draw panels of the action from the script), background artists (who paint the "scenery"), voice actors who speak the words, and musicians who make the music.

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